PANTHERS: 1. Matt MOYLAN, 2. Josh MANSOUR, 3. Dean WHARE, 4. Jamal IDRIS, 5. Dallin WATENE-ZELEZNIAK, 6. Will SMITH, 7. Jamie SOWARD, 8. Sam MCKENDRY, 9. James SEGEYARO, 10. Brent KITE, 11. Sika MANU, 12. Matt ROBINSON, 13. Nigel PLUM
INTERCHANGE: 14. Adam DOCKER, 15. Jeremy LATIMORE, 16. Ben MURDOCH-MASILA, 17. Lewis BROWN, 18. Kevin NAIQAMA, 19. Sam ANDERSON
BULLDOGS: 1.Sam PERRETT, 2.Corey THOMPSON, 3.Josh MORRIS, 4.Tim LAFAI, 5.Mitch BROWN, 6.Josh REYNOLDS, 7.Trent HODKINSON, 8.Aiden TOLMAN, 9.Michael ENNIS, 10. James GRAHAM, 11.Josh JACKSON, 12.Tony WILLIAMS, 13.Greg EASTWOOD
INTERCHANGE: 14.Reni MAITUA, 15.Dale FINUCANE, 16.David KLEMMER, 17.Frank PRITCHARD, 18.Moses MBYE, 19.Harlan ALAALATOA
With just four teams remaining in the race for the 2014 NRL Premiership, this week’s game is a do-or-die clash for the Panthers who take on the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. The winner of this one earns themselves a spot in next week’s Grand Final.
The Panthers come into this match having enjoyed the luxury of a week off to recover and recuperate after their thrilling one point victory over the Sydney Roosters in the first week of the finals. In contrast, the Bulldogs had to earn their spot last week and they did so with a hard fought golden point win over Manly. As with most of the Bulldog’s victories this year, the win came off the back of an impressive forwards performance from their big men. The battle between the forward packs in this game promises to be a great match up with both packs in form and both full of skill and power.
These two teams have met twice already this season with the Panthers coming away with victories in both of those occasions. However, both games were very tight affairs especially in round 3 where the Panthers got home with a Matt Moylan sideline conversion after the siren to win. The round 21 clash between the two sides was another close game with the Bulldogs putting up a late charge to comeback from a 22-0 deficit to finish the game just 6 points behind with a 22-16 score line. With even more at stake on this occasion, this match is sure to be just as close.
For the Panthers, the only change in the side is the return of enforcer Adam Docker who has been named on an extended bench. Kevin Naiqama has also been named in the squad following some impressive performances in the NSW Cup all season.
With the game being played at ANZ Stadium, it is important that as many Panthers’ fans and members make the trek up the m4 to cheer on the team!
KEY MATCH UPS
Jamal Idris v Tim Lafai: Lafai has been in outstanding form for the Bulldogs of late and has become their go-to man of sorts in recent weeks. However, facing him this week will be big Jamal who will be out for a big game against his former club.
James Segeyaro v Michael Ennis: In the modern game, the hooker role is arguably the most important on the field and this week sees two number nines with very different styles face off. Segeyaro’s speed and explosiveness out of dummy half has been a feature all year whilst Ennis relies more so on his workload and competitiveness to get his side on the front foot.